Kiwi the lovebird didn’t know whether he should try to approach his new female roommate. He’d tried to live up to his lovebird status before, you see, but it hadn’t ended well. Nevertheless, he plucked up the courage and took some apprehensive steps towards the object of his affection…
Yes, Kiwi is a species of African parrot commonly called a lovebird. He lives with his human, Maura Hennelly, who’s currently studying in Sacramento, California. And if you think Hennelly’s name sounds familiar, you could be right.
That’s because she’s previously earned internet fame with her other non-human family members. Hennelly is a keen wildlife lover, in fact, who’s no stranger to looking after pets. She’s had experience with a wide range of animal friendships, too, as she told the Belfast Telegraph in July 2018.
“I have a load of other animals,” Hennelly said. “Dogs, cats, hedgehogs, snakes, lizards, tortoise, tarantula, fish – you name it.” For example, one of her other popular housemates is a Xenopeltis unicolor, or sunbeam snake. The beauty of its glittering rainbow scales has wowed social media in the past.
And Hennelly has recently been in the spotlight again as the owner of Kiwi. After all, the parrot has become an internet sensation due to his adorable love story. It seems that matters of the heart are not always sunshine and rainbows, even for a lovebird.
Kiwi’s human had welcomed him into the household in 2016, and at first he had been happy living the single life. However, as their name suggests, lovebirds are passionate creatures. Their social nature means that they bond tightly with mates, and they live in flocks in the wild.
With that in mind, Hennelly had soon decided that it was time to set Kiwi up with a date. She’d already been keeping an eye out for the perfect partner, in fact. “I’m looking at this peach face little girl as a companion for Kiwi,” a Twitter post revealed in May 2017.
In the end, though, Hennelly had taken another lovebird home to meet her prospective partner, and the cute couple had seemed to be perfectly matched. Unfortunately, though, there had been trouble in paradise: one of the lovebirds had been more enamored than the other.
To be more specific, Hennelly said Kiwi had fallen deeply for his peach-faced partner, but the lady had quickly lost interest in his affections. She had broken his heart, in fact, but sometimes these things just aren’t meant to be. Yet despite Kiwi’s rejection, he hadn’t given up – and neither had Hennelly.
So Kiwi’s human made another matchmaking attempt, this time with a less colorful partner. This dark beauty was a black masked lovebird, or as Hennelly put it, a “goth GF” called Siouxsie. However, it looked as if Kiwi was set up to face another rejection.
Hennelly described the birds’ relationship to BuzzFeed in July 2018. “They are polar opposites,” Hennelly revealed. “Kiwi is a super-friendly, fun-loving boy, and Siouxsie is very shy and all business. She didn’t like Kiwi at all at first and would bite if he got near her.”
Despite Siouxsie’s initial resistance, though, she soon fell for Kiwi’s charms. After that, the two very quickly turned into the literal definition of lovebirds. And it was only a matter of time before their relationship swept through social media like a hurricane.
“This is the best couple, I love them,” someone commented on Hennelly’s Twitter account. Another simply wrote, “Inspirational.” And following an evening in Kiwi’s coconut, the sweet couple even went on to make a nest together, which hinted at something special: Siouxsie was expecting.
Yes, on April 24, 2018, Hennelly announced that she’d soon be hearing the tweet of tiny birds. “Siouxsie is expected to lay her eggs in the next week,” Hennelly wrote on Twitter. And sure enough, the following update revealed a healthy-looking lovebird egg.
But Siouxsie wasn’t finished there. “Three perfect little babies so far,” Hennelly subsequently tweeted. “Lovebirds lay their clutches with one egg every other day. And Siouxsie feels like she still has at least two eggs left to lay!” Ultimately, the lovebirds had four beautiful eggs.
Of course, when they were born, the tiny babies bore little resemblance to either parent. A closer inspection, however, revealed hints of color already beginning to form. For instance, their little pink bodies sported faintly colored feathers – signs of the birds they would become.
And by the end of week four, the chicks looked like tiny versions of their parents. Two of them, in fact, shared Kiwi’s bright, multi-colored plumage, and the other two were darker like their mommy. However, even the duskier babies displayed bright blue colors on their wings and tail.
“Four weeks old, and they are all so beautiful and unique,” Hennelly cooed in her status update. “They’re so sweet, just want to cuddle all day long!” In fact, she seemed just as proud as Siouxsie and Kiwi. And she should be – Hennelly helped raise them, after all.
Kiwi and Siouxsie were attentive parents, you see, but when they needed a hand Hennelly was happy to step in. “I love being a bird mom,” she wrote, with an accompanying video showing her hand-feeding the adorable feather babies. Hennelly sadly couldn’t keep the chicks, but she nonetheless had some good news.
“The babies will be staying with me for another month until they are weaned and fully feathered,” Hennelly told BuzzFeed. “Then they’re all going to great new homes. They’re all doing great and are so sweet and loving. It’s definitely going to be difficult to let them go!”